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Aranui 5 Cruise Ship

Aranui means 'The Great Highway' in the Maori language, and the brand new Aranui 5 is a purpose-built part-passenger, part-freighter ships, that sail the South Seas regularly between Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands.  Launched in 2015, the Arauni 5 is the 4th ship in the line (there was no Aranui 4!).  The ship is a lifeline for many of the Marquesan islands and their people, delivering essential supplies to the islands and exporting produce back to the main port in Tahiti for shipping all over the world.  Whilst doing this vital service, the ship sails to some of the most beautiful and interesting islands in the region.  To take advantage of this, the Aranui 5 can also carry around 250 cruise passengers, to visit these lovely islands.


The brand new Aranui 5 took over the route from the Aranui 3 in November 2015.  Built at the Weihai shipyard in China, the Aranui 5 is 126m/413ft long, 22m/72ft wide, weighs in at 3,200 tons unladen and has been specifically designed to operate this route.  As with the Aranui 3, the front of the ship will be the cargo area, and the vastly improved and increased passenger cabins and social areas will be at the rear.  She has a cruising speed of 15 knots and can carry up to 254 passengers, staying in a range of 103 cabins, including 1 Presidential Suite, 8 Royal Suites, 21 Premier Balcony Suites, 2 Junior Suites without balcony, 24 Superior Deluxe Balcony Staterooms, 7 Deluxe Outside Stateroom, 40 Standard Staterooms, and 4 C Class dormitory-style cabins, each with 4 bunks, plus 1 dormitory with 8 bunks, (Dormitory cabins will share bathroom facilities).  The public areas have been upgraded, too, with a fitness room, massage room/Spa , video/computor room, a spacious restaurant, 4 bars, including a Skybar on the top deck, several lounge areas, library, shopping area, 2 conference rooms, and a swimming pool and jacuzzi on the sundeck.


The Standard Staterooms offer 1 double bed or 2 twin beds, ensuite bathroom with shower, desk and chair, chest of drawers, wardrobe, in-room safe, air conditioning and some Staterooms may also have a small balcony. The Deluxe cabins have the same amenities as the Standard Staterooms, but also have a small balcony, a small fridge, hairdryer and are slightly larger.  The Superior Deluxe Cabins are larger than the Deluxe and have a sitting area with chairs and coffee table.  The 2 Junior Suites have no balcony or large windown due to superstructure location, but are larger than the Deluxe cabins and offer a sofabed in the sitting area.   The Premium Suites offer spacious cabins with a divided sleeping area with double or twin beds and sitting area with sofa and 2 chairs and sliding patio doors to a private balcony.  The Royal Suites are very spacious and larger than the Premium Suites, though they do have similar amenities and layout.  The Presidential Suite is huge with a separate bedroom and living room, 2 TV's walk-in wardrobe, 2 ensuite shower rooms, fridge, mini bar and wet bar area, and liding doors to a large furnished balcony.


The 2 lower Decks, Deck 2 and Main Deck, house the Staterooms and no other public areas.  The upper deck has the C class cabins, 2 Deluxe Suites and the main dining room and restaurant. The Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner each day when you are onboard and offers a varied selection of menu, with a French/Polynesian feel.  Meals are informal and usually everyone dines at the same time, unless the ship is totally full, when they may have two seatings.  The Boat Deck has the main lounge  and conference room plus 12 Staterooms and 2 Royal Suites.  The Verandah Deck has another bar and lounge, the 2 Junior Suites, 10 Premium Suites and 2 Royal Suites.  The Pool deck had the swimming pool, jacuzzi and terrace, 3 Deluxe Suites, 11 Premium Suites and 2 Royal Suites.  The Sun deck has a terrace overlooking the pool, 2 Deluxe, 12 Superior and 2 Royal Suites.  The top deck, the Sky Bar Deck houses the Sky Bar and lounge, 2 Deluxe, 9 Superior and the Presidential Suite


There is also a smaller lounge and bar, a video/entertainment room, reception area, fitness room with ocean view, and facilities for fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving and cultural activities such as palm leaf hat weaving, pareo wearing lessons and informational and cultural lectures and talks.


The Aranui 5 itinerary will inclued a stop in Bora Bora on the last day of the cruise which is an addition to the ships ports of call.


The Aranui 5's first few cruises are booked up already, but contact us if you want to reserve a cabin on any of the future sailings.


The sailing dates, the days of leaving and docking back in Tahiti are as follows.  The ship is scheduled to sail at 10.30am and dock back at 9.30am (timings subject to change):



16 January - 29 January 2016

06 February - 19 February 2016

27 February - 11 March 2016

19 March - 01 April 2016

09 April - 22 April 2016

30 April - 13 May 2016

21 May - 03 June 2016

11 June - 24 June 2016

02 July - 15 July 2016

23 July - 05 August 2016

13 August - 26 August 2016

03 September - 16 September 2016

24 September - 07 October 2016

15 October - 28 October 2016

05 November - 18 November 2016

26 November - 09 December 2016

17 December - 30 December 2016



10 January - 23 January 2017

28 Janauary - 10 February 2017

16 February - 01 March 2017

07 March - 20 March 2017

25 March - 07 April 2017

13 April - 26 April 2017

02 May - 15 May 2017

20 May - 02 June 2017

08 June - 21 June 2017

27 June - 10 July 2017

18 July - 31 July 2017

05 August - 18 August 2017

24 August - 06 September 2017

12 September - 25 September 2017

30 September - 13 October 2017

19 October - 01 November 2017

07 November - 20 November 2017

25 November - 08 December 2017

14 December - 27 December 2017




13 January - 26 January 2018

01 February - 14 February 2018

20 February - 05 March 2018

More sailings to follow

at a later date


Click HERE to visit the Aranui 5 own website

Click here to visit the Aranui 5 official photo gallery


The Aranui 5 offers a 14-day/13-night, 800-mile cruise, stopping off at 8 different islands, with 2 stops at Ua Poa, Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa.  Each cruise is the same itinerary, as this is governed by the schedule required by port restrictions, and for the freight delivery and pick-up.  Some islands offer a stop of a few hours and others can be a whole day.  The full itinerary is laid out below:

  • Day 1. Departure from Papeete dock at 10:30am
  • Day 2. Takapoto (it replaced Fakarava), the first stop, is an atoll in the Tuamotus. You can swim and snorkel in the lagoon and watch the colourful tropical lagoon fish. The entire morning will be spent on shore. a Pic-nic will be served on the beach the ship is board at 3.30pm then set sail for the Marquesas.
  • Day 3. Today is spent at sea, so you can relax with a book on one of the sun decks, swim in the small pool or enjoy the immense South Pacific. Balmy evenings mean reading or catching a movie in lounge/library, chatting with an authority on Marquesan culture or archaeology, or socializing on the upstairs deck/bar with your fellow adventurers.  The friendly Polynesian crew treat you like welcomed guests and proudly introduce you to their rich culture, almost every night singing Polynesian songs on their ukuleles.
  • Day 4. We sail on to Nuku Hiva and into Taipivai's spectacular bay; a giant volcanic amphitheater dominated by towering cliffs streaked with waterfalls. As the Aranui unloads, you can explore Taipivai, the tiny beachside town. Explore by 4WD jeep along steep, winding dirt mountain roads to the village of Hatiheu to visit an archeological site. We'll have lunch at Yvonne's Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in the Marquesas, where the specialty is pig baked in an underground oven. You'll meet the owner-chef, Yvonne, who also happens to be the town's energetic mayor. After lunch, we will travel to the valley of Taipivai. The area is dotted with stone tiki gods and sacred ritual sites (me'ae) and immense stone platforms (paepae) where the Taipi built their houses. Enigmatic petroglyphs of birds, sacred turtles and fish are carved on huge boulders. The Aranui's whaleboats will sail down the river to return you to the Aranui 5, and is anchored in Tapivai bay.
  • Day 5. This morning, from your windows or the deck, you'll see the soaring mountain spires of Ua Pou. Whenever the Aranui stops, villagers greet it. As the crew unload supplies - from cements to sugar - and load sacks of copra (dried coconut meat), you'll explore the tiny town of Hakahau with its church with a hand-carved wooden dais. You can meet some talented woodcarvers and hike up a hill for a breathtaking view of the distant cloud-covered mountains. At Rosalie's Restaurant, you'll taste your first Marquesan lunch: breadfruit, a marquesan staple, along with curried goat, barbecued rock lobster, poisson cru (raw fish marinated in lime juice and soaked in coconut milk ), taro and sweet red bananas.
  • Day 6. Today the ship arrives at Vaitaho on Tahuata Island for a few hours then on to Hiva Oa. On Tahuata Island a beautiful leaf-shaped island, the air is thick with fragrant scent of tiare, frangipani and history. Tahuata is the site of the first French settlement in the Marquesas in 1842. The huge church built by the Vatican, is decorated with beautiful Marquesan carvings. We'll picnic in the Valley of Hapatoni and swim and snorkel at a nearby beach, before returning to the ship for Lunch.  The ship moves on to Hiva Oa where you will have plenty of time to explore Atuona, the second largest village in Marquesas. This is where Paul Gauguin lived and did some of his best work. You can visit the colonial store where Gauguin shopped and go into a replica of the Impressionist's infamous "House of Pleasure." As you walk up the hill to the cemetery, you'll have sweeping views of the harbor. Beneath a huge frangipani tree is a tombstone with the simple words: Paul Gauguin 1903. Nearby is the grave of another famous European who also was seduced by Hiva Oa: Belgian singer-composer Jacques Brel, who died in 1978. You'll also enjoy another lavish Marquesan lunch at Hoa Nui Restaurant, before returning back to the ship later in the day.
  • Day 7. Fatu Hiva is the most lush and remote island of the Marquesas. It's also a center of Marquesan crafts. As our guides lead you through the village of Omoa, you'll see women hammering mulberry, banyan or breadfruit bark on logs. They dry it and then paint ancient Marquesan designs on their famous tapa cloth. Fatu Hiva is also well-known for its hand-painted pareus (sarongs) and monoi, a perfumed coconut oil scented with tiare blossoms and sandalwood. Skilled woodcarvers will invite you into their home/studios to show off their wares.  Most of the time, Aranui 3 Passengers are the only outside visitors to this remote island, bar the odd private yacht sailing by!
  • Day 8. Today it's back to the other side of Hiva Oa island.  You'll travel by foot or by 4WD jeep to the most important archeological sites for tikis (ancient, human-like religious sculptures) other than Easter Island. Our trained guides will show you these mysterious jungle ruins of Puamau and tell the stories of these haunting statues of an ancient civilization.  Later this same day you make a stop at Kokuu on Tahuata Island, for another few hours of wandering around the local village and beach.
  • Day 9. The ship will anchor at the smallest island of Ua Huka today, where you will have plenty of time to wander the villages and enjoy the beach and maybe a little snorkelling.  We'll visit a museum with exquisite replicas of Marquesan art. Some Aranui passengers will explore the island by four-wheel drive; others will ride the Marquesan horses. For three hours, we will explore the mountain landscape with heart-stopping views of the Pacific. The wild horses (brought from Chile in 1856) thrive here, outnumbering the islands 476 residents. We'll have a Marquesan lunch at local restaurant and have plenty of time to visit studios of woodcarvers. We'll visit the arboretum and the garden of fruits and flower. Back on the Aranui, it's Polynesian night with dancing and buffet dinner on the decks.
  • Day 10. Today the ship dock at Nuku Hiva and Ua Poa and if you are only doing the 7 or 10 day cruises, this is where you will disembark and catch a flight back to Papeete. If staying for the full 14 days, the Aranui will dock in Nuku Hiva at Taiohae in the morning. You may take the Le Truck back to the town center and spend free time there. At noon, the ship will sail again to Ua Pou, returning to our first stop in the Marquesas, Hakahau. This is your last chance to buy Marquesan crafts.  You will have time to explore the islands little or just relax on a beach or on board the ship, if you wish.
  • Day 11. At sea.  Time to relax, catch up with your book, your tan or swop photos and talk about your amazing trip with the other passengers.
  • Day 12.  On lovely Rangiroa, the largest atoll in the world, you'll picnic on coral beach. Aranui passengers can swim and snorkel in a translucent lagoon. Excellent snorkeling and scuba diving are available for people of all levels. Rangiroa is an underwater jewel box with stunning colors of corals and clouds of tropical fishes. You'll have the opportunity to purchase black pearls from local black pearl farms and learn about the pearl farming.
  • Day 13. Today the ship will stop at the beautiful atolls of Bora Bora, on the way back to Papeete.  See the stunning lagoon and the towering Mt. Otumanu.  Swim in the crystal clear waters or visit some of the fabulous Resorts that call this beautiful island home.  Then back on board that evening for your final sail back to Papeete.
  • Day 14. Arrive back in Papeete around 9.30am.

Hotel Facilities (Click to expand)

room Facilities (Click to expand)

Activities (Click to expand)

Child Policy

We do not recommend this Cruise for children under 12 years.  There is no discounted price for a child, cabins only sleep 2 persons and extra beds are not available, so multiple cabins would have to be booked. No cabins are interconnecting.  Some of the daily excursions are not suitable for young children and there is not really any on-board activities to occupy them on board ship, other than the pool.

Airport Transfers

Transfers to board the ship can arranged on request.

Check-in Details

Check-in will be Papeete Dock minimum 2 hours before ship sailing at 10.30am.  The ship WILL sail without any guest who is not onboard on time.

Flights (Click to expand)

Pricing Policy

Prices are on a per person, per cabin for double occupancy basis and include 3 meals a day, either on board, picnics or in restaurants on shore, wine or soft drinks with meals, all on shore guided excursions, all on shore transport in relation to daily activites, guest lectures and full use of all ship-board activites.


Standard Cabin

The Standard cabins are located on the Main, A and B decks and offer 2 single beds with storage underneath, ensuite facilities with shower, air conditioning, bedside cupboard, wardrobe, chest of drawers, desk and chair and a single porthole window.
Price per person per cabin On request
Early check-in N/A
Late check-out N/A
Bed configuration 2 single beds
Sleeps up to 2
Extra person rate N/A
Number available 63

Deluxe Cabin

The 12 Deluxe Cabins offer 1 Queen bed with under-bed storage, ensuite bathroom with bath and shower, desk and chair, chest of drawers, small sofa and sitting area, wardrobe, large window, air conditioning and some cabins may also have a small balcony. Deluxe cabins 1, 2, 3, and 4 are located on the sides of the top Star Deck and have a small balcony, cabins 5 and 6 are also on the Star Deck on the front of the bulkhead, and the other 6 Deluxe cabins are located on the Sun Deck and run down the sides to the back of the bulkhead.
Price per person per cabin On request
Early check-in N/A
Late check-out N/A
Bed configuration 1 Queen bed
Sleeps up to 2
Extra person rate N/A
Number available 12

Suite Cabin

Suites are spacious and all but the 2 front centre Suites H & J have a private balcony. They offer 1 Queen bed with underbed storage, an ensuite bathroom with bath and shower, chest of drawers, small sofa and sitting area, desk and chair, refrigerator, large picture window and air conditioning. Suites E and F, on the top Star Deck, and K and G on the Sun Deck, are slightly larger as they are located on the corner front of the bulkhead, Suites A and D are on the back corner, Suites C and B are centre back of the bulkhead and Suites H and J are front centre without the balconies.
Price per person per cabin On request
Early check-in N/A
Late check-out N/A
Bed configuration 1 Queen bed
Sleeps up to 2-3
Extra person rate N/A
Number available 10

Photos Courtesy of Aranui 5



Gorgeous Island Scenery.jpg


Aranui 5 in dock.jpg


Bora Bora.jpg


Local Church.jpg


Offloading at the dock.jpg



contact us

If you have any questions regarding the islands of the Pacific Ocean or you would like us to provide a quote for your planned itinerary, then please contact us, we will be more than happy to help.


Phone: 01342 840555

Fax: 01342 841623

Email: team@transpacificholidays.co.uk

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